Straight-laced Rose breaks off relations with her party girl sister, Maggie, over an indiscretion involving Rose's boyfriend. The chilly atmosphere is broken with the arrival of Ella, the grandmother neither sister knew existed.
A British investment broker inherits his uncle's chateau and vineyard in Provence, where he spent much of his childhood. He discovers a new laid-back lifestyle as he tries to renovate the estate to be sold.
After Frances's seemingly happy San Francisco marriage ends abruptly, she goes into a funk. Urged by her friends to move on, she joins a bus tour of Tuscany where, on the spur of the moment, she buys a crumbling villa. She assembles a crew of oddballs and immigrants to repair the house; over the next year, as they work, she welcomes one of her San Francisco friends who's pregnant and at loose ends, and she seeks love, first (tenuously) with her married real estate agent, then with a charming stranger. Although life gets in the way of love, Frances's wishes come true in unexpected ways, and there's always the Tuscan sun. Written by
The director wanted to cast actual Polish actors to play the immigrant Polish workers in the film, but couldn't due problems and delays getting work visas for the Polish actors from the Italian government. See more »
When Patti is lying on the bed in Frances' house, she is lying on her left side with a pillow under her head. In the next shot, she's lying supine, then reaches for the pillow to turn on her left side. See more »
I'd like to make an offer on the house. This is what I can pay, minus the work on the place, and a rental car to drive off a cliff when this all turns out to have been a terrible mistake.
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Chick Flick for the Scenery, Not for the Romance or Brains
"Under the Tuscan Sun" is a glossy chick flick with a radiant star and beautiful scenery, but that was just not enough for me to get beyond wincible dialogue and cornball situations.
Beautiful, talented Diane Lane is certainly deserving of a star vehicle and I pluncked down my full fare to be sure she gets credit for putting this fanny in a seat.
I do note that screenplay co-writer/director Audrey Wells (who played on chick flick stereotype turnabouts much more creatively in her script for "The Truth About Cats and Dogs") womanfully put some creative tweaks on creaky conventions of the genre -- the caustic best friend is a pregnant lesbian Asian-American (one of my favorite actresses, Sandra Oh, who has been so good in little Canadian dramas and as a comedienne in "Arli$$"), we don't have to meet the one-dimensional two-timing husband, the secondary stories have some different ethnic gloss, and there's a little twist in the concluding romantic expectations. Poor Lindsay Duncan being the usual eccentric Brit, stuck in Fellini fantasies, complete with a ridiculous Anita-Ekberg-in-the-fountain imitation.
We get only a hint of real Italian men's machismo as yet again in movies a fantasy Mediterranean clime is used to loosen up an Anglo's sensuality (as Lane gloriously exults in a funny salute to herself: "I've still got it!")-- is this now a tourist marketing ploy? Even a festival is thrown in for literal local color for no other particular reason.
With the male eye candy here not even given any interesting characterization, I tolerated sitting through it more restlessly than even recent weak chick flicks "Alex and Emma" and "Maid in Manhattan."
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